View Full Version : Check this dude out

April 25, 2005, 11:13
Went out fishing yesterday and found this guy sitting on some moss. He is now a new member of our family (if he eats). I've never seen one in the wild and thought it would be something worth sharing with you guys. His markings indicate he is just a common painted turtle which we have plenty of. Hope you guys like him!



April 25, 2005, 12:48
An albino painted turtle. Well, I'm jiggered.

April 25, 2005, 13:02
he looks delicious ..he he..just kiddng ...nice turtle .I like the red banding on the shell...and the snoot area looks different compared to our ore. pond turts....how big is it ?

April 25, 2005, 13:37
Albino painted turtles are definately very uncommon. Unless he's the new long-term family pet, you might be able to cash in on that one (if its legal to collect them where you live). Eating? worms, crickets, and other small bugs. He'll also eat lean raw meat, like beef and chicken. Put him under a flourescent UVB light like a vitalite. Also put him under an incandescant (regular) bulb for heat. Make sure the water stays above 75 degrees, and below 85. Go to the pet store and get some calcium supplement for him. Either the packaged stuff, or a cheap way is to go to the bird section and get a cuttlefish bone (about a buck). Scrape some of into a sandwhich bag, drop turtle food in and shake to coat the bug. Then feed him. Give him the calcium at least once a week. You can feed him once a day, or every other day once he gets older. The most important thing is to keep the water clean and heated. And w/o the calcium and uvb exposure his shell and limb bones will get deformed. Congradulations, cool pet, they live about 30 years or more.

April 26, 2005, 20:35
OK, did some checking around, not only are they uncommon, they are unheard of. You definately have found something super rare, may be the only one known in existence. This belongs in the critters that dont belong in your woods thread.

April 26, 2005, 20:51
That is way cool. Is it a he or she? And what's its name?

April 26, 2005, 21:25
Very nice find.
If you can't get him to eat, or are afraid you can't take care of him... I suggest donating him to a good zoo or maybe calling the DNR. I'm not sure how rare these are, but I do know that people breed turtle morphs, and if you have one albino, you can breed them to get more. Making this guy valuable, IF he's the only one of his kind.

If you do keep him, UVB is VERY important, as mentioned earlier. They sell turtle food in commercial pellets that might work well... Do some research.

Oh, they stink too. ;)

Enjoy. :cool:

April 27, 2005, 09:32
If you want my oppinion... I would call a local zoo... If they take this little dude or dudette and breed them right (IE LUCKY and Happy TURTLE!) then they can select for the albino genes and they can make more yellow turtles...

I had a albino Leopard frog as a kid... I had it a long time (year to two) but it eventually died. When I told the story and shared pics with a college professor he indicated that it would have been better to do what I had advised above...

They might give you a couple bucks BUT you can help lots of people get to see something that they couldn't see otherwise...

Thanks for sharing regardless as he/she is very cool looking!

April 27, 2005, 09:52
Few zoos are interested in producing genetically mutated forms of common animals. Reptile breeders are. The going price for an amelistic iguana when they first became available was $115,000, and that was not even the beginning price for the first found individual. Boa constrictors were about the same. The price goes down very fast after enough people get ahold of them and make their money. The same boa 8 years later might cost $400. The breeder that chances upon something like this will usually pay huge for it. The turtle breeding does not bring in the bucks like snakes do, but they can bring big prices. Many herpetologists regard the practice (inbreedeing for mutation) as unethical. It tampers with the blood lines of the species and goes against the whole idea of captive breeding to begin with. It is a trend that is unstoppable in the reptile industry, the hard line is that they sell and bring in the money for breeders. Another possibility would be to sell it to a private serpentarium or zoo. Some of these folks have the capital and would jump on the chance to have the worlds only amelistic painted turtle. If you do decide to sell it, be careful, there are lots of shady characters (most of them) in that business. Get lots of offers from many different breeders before selling. If it were me I'd keep it. That it made it as long as it did in the wild is amazing. From the pics it looks to have been hatched in the spring of 04.

April 27, 2005, 18:42
Dang guys! This is kinda cool. I figured it was rare, but didn't think too much about it. He (it? to early to tell) is in an aquarium now with one of those special lights. He is also in front of a window so he's getting sunlight too. First couple days, he hardly moved. Now he's starting to swim around and "test the waters". I have put a couple mealworms in front of him and left but he doesn't seem interested yet. The wife just dropped a moth in front of him so we'll see what happens.

I have kept a bunch of reptiles as pets from the wild. Some for years. Most were just throughout the summer. If they didn't eat after a week or so, off to the wild they went. I wonder what else slow and managable would be good food? I thought about some feeder guppies but that would be after he started eating.

Our three year-old has named him Pond Turtle for now. All of us have become attatched to the little guy. He will become a member of the family I'm sure. I'm not that big into what % of what species is this-that-or-the-other. I just thought he was pretty cool.

I know you have to get a permit from the state to collect reptiles and amphibians for sale purposes so I doubt I'll go that route. Just thought he'd make an interesting pet for our little girl.

Thanks for all the info guys!

April 27, 2005, 18:49
Diced up night crawlers should do the trick. You will want to look into a ZooMed 5.0 fluorescent light or something along those lines. Should make sure he has a good DRY place to bask and a nice warm lamp. You want to keep it cool on the side away from the basking lamp so that he can choose where to hang out depending on his blood temp. Turn off the lights at night but make sure he stays warm.

Take good care of him!

April 27, 2005, 19:14
Small sized crickets from the pet store are the best starter for young turtles. No usefull ultraviolet rays will get through the glass on your window, just uva which will cause the tank to blow up with algae. Forget the fish for now, he'll never catch them and probably wont try. Once his water and body temp is heated up and he gets used to his tank he will start eating. Remember the calcium supplement. And congradulations again on finding such a rare critter.

April 27, 2005, 19:18
Put him back where you found him?

April 27, 2005, 19:25
Originally posted by Treborer
Put him back where you found him?
The chances of that turtle surviving in the wild to adult hood are slim to none.
He's already unfit for the wild... he's a mutant.... a teenage, mutant, ninja, turtle.

Hey... you should name him after one of the Ninja turtles. :tongue:

April 27, 2005, 20:15
Originally posted by James87
Hey... you should name him after one of the Ninja turtles. :tongue:
Yeah...RaF-A-L . :biggrin: :fal:

Blood of Tyrants
April 27, 2005, 21:06
Originally posted by Faltitude

Yeah...RaF-A-L . :biggrin: :fal:


April 27, 2005, 23:55
HAHAHAHAHA That's funny guys!

I like the nightcrawler deal. I even saw some crickets in the yard. I think he needs to see something moving to take an interest right now. I think he is still getting acclimated to his new surroundings and the goings-on. I'm not going to get too worried about him eating for a few more days.

Nah, I'd never turn him loose in the wild. He's perfect fish bait size and sticks out like the half-dollar he is. I used to do that with all the critters I caught as a kid that wouldn't eat in captivity.

I am going to wait on the supplements until he really gets into eating stuff but will get it to him then. Same on the guppies. It's a hoot watching a turtle try to catch 'em though.

Thanks for ideas guys! You've been a big help for this little fella!

April 28, 2005, 08:19
I shared your story with my wife as one of her friends used to raise turtles... my wife indicated that her friend used to feed the turtles raw hamburger... They were painted turtles too!

How about a couple more pics that show his size?

April 28, 2005, 09:17
You need to get one of those FAL pins from Jen to stock his arsenal.

A turtle without a FAL is not a whole turtle.

April 28, 2005, 10:54
I was thinking.... Aren't most Albino's blind? He probably has a hard time seeing, nonetheless.
You might want to try something that smells good to him. Dead guppies or cut-up worms would probably work. When I fish with minnows I throw the dead ones in the water, sometimes it attracts a painted turtle. Try putting food on his basking rock, or whatever you have set up for him. I've heard about the raw hamburger trick too, never tried it myself though.
Also, he probably only needs about 2-4" of water. I think they feel threatened in deep water, 'cause that's where the predators are in the wild. Some small water plants for him to hide in might help too. The sooner he feels secure, the sooner he will eat.

BTW: I was looking at some old Reptiles magazines that I had lying around. I guess people breed Albino red-eared sliders, I couldn't find anything on the painted turtles though.
Heís a real special turtle.

RaF-A-L.... lol!

April 28, 2005, 12:00
Not blind but possible slightly impaired relative to normal ones. All of the young turtles I've worked with (including painted turtles) seem to really go for the very small crickets first. Or another similar floating bug. Smaller is the key, big meals are harder to digest and they dont get as much out of it before it goes out the other end. Smaller meals offer the most digestable surface area, with the least amount of energy required to digest it. It really helps, especially for young turtles that are growing like a weed.

April 29, 2005, 00:10
Great ideas again! I'll have to stop at the pet store and get some little crickets. The wife cracked up with the RaFAL name and it seems to be sticking with her. It's still Pond Turtle for the three year old though.

We have some gravel in there now and I'm going to work on building him a little mansion. The wife said he was trying to "swim" when she picked him up to put the gravel in. That's more than I've seen him do when I have picked him up, so I hope he's getting a little more used to the activities.

I'll get some more pictures of him soon. His shell isn't even as big as a half-dollar right now. I'd have to agree on the earlier post of him being a hatch from this last summer/fall.

April 29, 2005, 00:20
If I were you I'd get in touch with a local university's biology department to maybe get an important find documented, who knows, you may even get a federal grant funded in your name for it.

May 07, 2005, 07:54
Whelp, did you get him up and running?

May 08, 2005, 00:59
Yup. The wife put a little worm in front of him on his basking rock and he chowed down. Unfortunately, he hasn't touched anything else that we can tell.

I've since, added an areator to his tank to get the water moving around. I'm going to get him some gupppies soon. We also got some of those turtle pellet thingys but he doesn't seem too interested. We'll keep trying. He sure got active after eating that worm. He can't sit still now. The wife is getting pretty attached to the little dude.

May 11, 2005, 11:20
Here's a couple more pics of the little dude for you guys to check out.



May 11, 2005, 13:07
Originally posted by James87
I was thinking.... Aren't most Albino's blind?

Nope. They see as well as the rest of us.

May 11, 2005, 13:15
Originally posted by Kahouna
Yup. The wife put a little worm in front of him on his basking rock and he chowed down. Unfortunately, he hasn't touched anything else that we can tell.

Turtles are cold-blooded, so unless you have the water temp set at something higher than room temp he may not need anything for a few days or even a week.

I had a baby alligator snapping turtle that would gorge himself on crawdads and minnows every chance he got. We kept the water temp at 70F After he got 8" in diameter and nearly took a friend's finger off, we let him go in a private pond infested with carp.

May 11, 2005, 15:20
Originally posted by Kahouna
Here's a couple more pics of the little dude for you guys to check out.


He looks great! That looks like a real nice setup too. Is that lava rock? It looks good.

If you need some equipment, I think I have some stuff lying around that I could sell to you cheap. I have a basking lamp w/bulb, and a fluorescent ZooMed Reptisun 5.0 (UVB rays).

With turtles it has been proven that you HAVE to have artificial lighting. The UVB rays help them metabolize food and it lets them grow strong bones. Without it, the turtle's bones and shell will get soft, and he would eventually die. :sad:
Glass filters out UVB, so just having the cage near a window won't help.

Email me if you need anything.

May 11, 2005, 18:22
I think I spent like 8 bucks on one of those bulbs for his lid. The damn thing burned out within the week. I was ticked that that one and not the dollar bulb went. I will be getting him a new one soon.

Actually, that rock is some concrete chunks we had piled up outside. Works pretty good though.

I put a worm chunk in front of him today and all he did was nudge it around. Never took a bite but he was suuuure interested in it. Tha't it in the picture at his 3 o'clock. Kinda weird?

May 14, 2005, 14:27
Wow, after seeing the new pics I'd have to say that dude is brand new. Hatched this spring.

May 18, 2005, 01:07
Here's a quick update with another pic. I got him a bunch of baby crickets. He went nuts on them. Biting away at them but not eating them. I forgot that they have to eat underwater, so he was just a killing machine. I have dead crickets floating all over his tank to clean-up. I've got a 20 gallon long that I'm getting ready for him to move into soon. I hope to have all the appropriate lights and jazz for him when he takes up residency.

Here he is with some cornered crickets. Looks like a stand-off to me! :biggrin:


May 18, 2005, 08:18

I see that several people have suggested that you use a special light to provide him with UV rays. However, I am curious if that is in the best interest of his health considering that he is an albino and may lack protection from the damaging properties as well as the beneficial ones the light provides. I am not a biologist nor a herpetologist, but as a Nurse do have some insight on the pathophysiology of humans and understand that exposure from UV rays to human albinos should always be a consideration. Just thought it might be something to consider in the long term?


May 18, 2005, 10:32
They do like the crickets. You can leave some in there, they will eat the dead ones.

The UVB is neccessary for turtles, not so much so for tame apes. Turtles need it to chemically process calcium. Albino or not, if it is not provided via lots of sunlight or a vita light they develop grotesque deformities of the shell, long bones and spine. It is most important for young turtles, once full grown its not such a big deal. The vitalight helps for indoor keeping, but is not quite as good as the real thing, hense the calcium/D3 supplements neccessary. Turtles dont get skin cancer so no worries. They are dependent on basking in the sun for many reasons.

Keep the pics coming!

May 18, 2005, 10:53
Looks good. I hope he eats some.

A note about the crickets.... You should make sure that the crickets you feed to him have eaten. If the crickets have an empty stomach, the turtle won't benefit from it. You can put them in a jar with some veggies and dog food to keep them. Crickets donít have many nutrients in their bodies. But if he does like worms, they are a good source of protein and calcium. Guppies arenít bad either, but theyíre hard to catch for any turtle.

Also, at night you may want to take the live crickets out of the cage... I've heard that they can bite reptiles while they sleep.

And reptile UVB/UVA bulbs arenít the same as the ones they put in tanning beds. :tongue:

May 18, 2005, 13:01
True dat. Heres a recipe for gut loading bugs that I came up and have used with good results.

-12 grain bread
-Purina trout chow
-A biscut or two of Purina monkey chow
-Gerbers, carrot
-Gerbers squash
-Gerbers mixed veg (make sure it has no spinach)

Put in blender and goopify. This can be then poured into an ice cube tray and frozen. When you get your crickets (in a container) put a thawed cube in, mix some water into it so that it is like a paste. The crickets will practically kill each other to get at it. Put some in with a bait box and the worms will eat it as well.

Also, the same recipe works well for turtle food if you leave out the bread and put in more powderized trout chow. In this case I will usually bind it with calcium rich knox gelatin.

May 19, 2005, 03:37

UV light is important to naked apes as well. In fact UV light exposure is essential for the synthesis of Vitamin D which is crucial in the production and storage of calcium in our bones. Without a minimum exposure of ultraviolet light to a 2" x 2" patch of skin for twenty minutes per day a condition known as rickets can occur in children, which causes abnormalities in shape and structure of bones. In adults , the same condition, is known as Osteomalacia. I would imagine that most creatures living on the surface of this planet and maybe those below as well are somehow dependent on the suns rays for their health and survival.:wink:


May 19, 2005, 10:03
Yeah I know, its just not so much so. Humans have undergone adaptions to block too much sun. Turtles have undergone adaptions to get more of it.

May 19, 2005, 10:10
maybe a reduced intensity UV light since he has less "filtration"..

definitely can't hurt to contact a real herpetologist

May 19, 2005, 18:50
Alright, enough with the UVB non-sense. The turtle needs a vitalight, period. Thousands upon thousands of amelistic red-eared pond sliders and leaf turtles are bred and raised every year. Just like every other juvenile turtle, if they dont get that UVB (and artificial is just barely good enough) they are afflicted with all kinds of problems. Do some reading before you send this guy off on a wild goose chase about reptile skin cancer. I'll add that I have taken care of literally thousands of turtles and raised a fair number from the egg, not to mention, I know and regularly communicate with quite a few herpetologists. Since they dont study albinism or other genetic mutations, a herpetologist wont be able to tell you anything unless he/she raises them at home.

May 19, 2005, 20:49

He said goopify.


May 19, 2005, 21:06
Originally posted by Windustsearch
"not to mention, I know and regularly communicate with quite a few herpetologists. Since they dont study albinism or other genetic mutations, a herpetologist wont be able to tell you anything unless he/she raises them at home."


:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

May 20, 2005, 00:51
You guys are cracking me up!

Lot's of information has been cramming my noggin' the last few days about this guy. One thing is still a big question: THE LIGHT From what I have gathered so far, is that he needs some kind of UV light. We are in the process of getting a bigger tank ready for him and I want to do this set-up one time. The vitalight is high on my list of lights and if/when I can lay hands on one, it will probably come home.

I have been overwhelmed with information lately and thank you guys for your input. I have talked to a breeder and been thinking that the little guy might just become a family member. When the time is right, he might get to meet a couple womenfolk and we'll see what happens. At least that's what my plan is this week.

Here's a couple pics I took of him when I took him outside for a while today:



Joe Alien
May 27, 2005, 23:08
That's one nice turtle, but maybe you should remove the concrete "rocks" form his tank, concrete contains lime and possibly chemical additives, used to strengthen and harden concrete, which may not be healthy for the turtle.

Put in some regular old natural rocks.

June 17, 2005, 19:51
Your getting some good advice, I just wanted to steer you towards a turtle expert. His name is John Richards, Turtleman.com. He raises several species, my favorite being the alligator snapper. My boys and and I have two. He is a great guy who loves turtles.

June 18, 2005, 11:01
Sp, have you named him?

Take some pictures with known items so we can tell his size.

Does the breeder know what variety this guy is? How big should he get if everything goes ok?

June 18, 2005, 19:40
Any news? Hope the turtle's doing well.